Leading an organization is complex and often chaotic. Managing that complexity well requires a plan, tools, and time. Foundations for a Successful Business introduces the basic elements of a time-tested framework from which businesses grow and thrive. For decades, the Criteria for Performance Excellence® (part of the regularly revised Baldrige Excellence Framework®: Proven Leadership and Management Practices for High Performance) have served as a blueprint for successfully managing and sustaining organizations.
Whether your organization is new, is growing, or has existed for many years, it faces daily and longer-term challenges. It also has strengths that have served you well so far. Foundations for a Successful Business helps you identify and leverage your strengths and prepare to face your challenges. As a result, you will be better able to position your organization to succeed—to accomplish your mission and achieve your vision—with a sense of greater clarity and with alignment among your leaders, employees, customers, and key partners.
Foundations for a Successful Business describes organizational success in seven fundamental areas that apply to any corporation, nonprofit, government, or academic institution. It provides a “golden thread” that ties various parts together into a coordinated system. The content in this overview can also be found in a series of interactive modules.
Start with a deeper understanding of your organization. Decide on your mission and vision and what groups of people are important. Understand your strengths, internal weaknesses and external challenges.
Introduction & Organizational Context
Share your vision and lead your organization—leadership is behavior and actions, not a position. Determine your values. Communicate and listen to employees and customers. Obey the law and fulfill your responsibilities to the public.
Prepare for the future. Develop specific objectives and measurable goals. Identify and consider innovative ideas. Decide on the actions your organization must take to reach its objectives. Monitor your progress and adapt if needed.
Use data and information to make decisions. Decide on a few measures. Start making decisions based on information. Make data and information available. Share best practices and protect your data and information systems.
Data and Analysis
Establish operations that deliver high-quality products and services. Design work as regular, repeatable steps. Regularly evaluate and improve processes. Control the costs of operations. Work with suppliers and prepare for disasters and emergencies.
Measure your results and find out how well you are doing. Track results for trust in leadership, ethical behavior, legal compliance, customer satisfaction, repeat business, job satisfaction, quality of products, operations, financial performance, and business growth.
Learn and improve. Review your results. Decide what you are and are not doing well and what you should improve or change.
Learn & Improve
Take a deeper dive and evaluate your key processes and results with key questions for each of the fundamental areas of the Foundations for a Successful Business.
Take one of these next steps toward sustained success and ever-higher levels of performance.